Aside from making you cranky and crave chocolate, your menstrual cycle causes changes in your body that can affect all aspects of your life. And it’s not just during your period: The entire 28-day cycle represents hormonal shifts that can affect how you sleep, exercise, and the foods your body needs. Instead of letting your cycle control your health, you can use the different phases to your advantage and give your body what it needs on any given day.
Below, check out a primer on the four basic phases of the menstrual cycle, and get tips on how to eat, work out, and snooze better on every day of the month.
Originally posted September 2016. Updated August 2017.